Leonte Carroo's tour of AFC East begins today with visit to #Patriots. #Dolphins tomorrow. #Jets on Weds. Already worked out for #Titans— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) April 11, 2016
Former Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo is visiting with the New England Patriots today, one of several NFL teams he is scheduled to visit this week. With the NFL Draft beginning on April 28th, it is a good sign there are so many teams meeting with Carroo as part of the draft process.
Carroo was one of many prospects to participate in the New York Giants pro day on Friday, where several former Rutgers players also attended. A total of 24 players were scheduled to participate, with a third coming from Rutgers. In addition to Carroo, the former scarlet knights scheduled to participate were Paul James, Quentin Gause, Savon Huggins, Keith Lumpkin, Kaiwan Lewis, Steve Longa, and Sam Bergen. Carroo is the only scarlet knight expected to be drafted in the early rounds.
In late February, Carroo turned in a solid performance at the NFL combine. Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. spoke to Dan Duggan in this article about Carroo after his combine performance:
"I think Carroo solidified at worst a third-round grade and probably a second-round grade," Kiper said in a conference call last week. "You look at what he was able to do, 4.5 at 211 pounds, 6-foot. You have to love the way he played. When he wasn't there, it was a different team and it was a different offense. He's the kind of guy, it didn't matter who was covering him, he got open."
In addition to the combine, Carroo conducted his own personal workout at the Rutgers bubble on March 31st for over 20 NFL teams. Carroo suffered an ankle injury at the Senior Bowl and did not participate in any agility drills or route running at the combine. Dan Duggan spoke to Carroo after the workout here. The New York Jets and New York Giants were teams that did attend the private workout.
As for the Patriots potential interest, our friends over at Pats Pulpit named Carroo as a receiver target that would lead to an immediate upgrade over current personnel at that position. The Patriots do not have a 1st round pick this year due to deflategate penalties, but they have the 60th and 61st picks in the 2nd round. They also own the 91st and 96th picks in the 3rd round. Here is Pats Pulpit draft profile of Carroo.
Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck's affinity for Rutgers players is no secret, as there are five former scarlet knights on the New England roster. They include Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, Jonathan Freeny, and Kevin Snyder. It's possible Carroo will be available at the end of the 2nd or 3rd rounds, making him a candidate to add to the Rutgers/Patriots Fraternity. Inviting Carroo to Foxborough today to meet with the organization confirms there is legitimate interest from the Patriots. Twitter reactions would be priceless if Carroo were to be drafted by New England, as people have trouble understanding why such a top NFL organization keeps going to the Rutgers well.
As for current draft projections, CBS sports ranks Carroo as the 87th best player available and 11th wide receiver, predicting him as a 3rd round pick. Interest for Carroo should continue up until the NFL draft begins on the last weekend of April. We will continue to update any news with Carroo as he prepares to fulfill his NFL dream!
Sunday afternoons at RPT Carroo just sitting around waiting for this draft. #NFLDraft @HoustonTexans @MiamiDolphins pic.twitter.com/tWF0plCYHh— Ivan Candelaria (@ivcuconn) April 3, 2016